Just how much does a surname’s spelling indicate familial relationships or lack thereof? I once had someone tell me that my Hockers of Dauphin County were not related to the Hackers of Lancaster County because the name was spelled differently—even though both spellings (and others) were used in documents in Lancaster County. Fortunately, in this […]
Names, dates, and places, as difficult as they can sometimes be to find, only tell a small fraction of the story of our German immigrant ancestors. The larger story is written in understanding their daily lives.
I’ve recently joined the genetic genealogy club. Mom and I both had our DNA tested through Ancestry DNA. My results just came in. You know how the television commercials show someone making a surprise discovery through their DNA? Surprise, you’re not German, you’re Scottish. Yeah, my results weren’t anything like that.
In the wake of the influenza epidemic of the early twentieth century, another mysterious illness swept ‘round the world. Between 1915 and 1926, more than five million people took ill with the disease. Nearly a third died as a result. The survivors were never the same. Yet, despite this, most of us have never heard of encephalitis lethargica. I hadn’t until I saw it listed on a death certificate. Just what is this mystery disease?
I’ve been using the Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 to locate records for my ancestors. I keep running into the same error in the index for some of these records—specifically the early baptismal records for Emanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, also known as the Warwick Congregation in the 18th century. Here’s an […]
I went looking to rent some films from FamilySearch for some research I’m doing. I discovered that images from the very films I need are available online! Each of those camera icons indicate that that particular microfilm is available for online viewing. Although the images aren’t indexed, they’re no more difficult to use than the microfilm […]
In my last post, I posited that John Weidman (1756-1830) could have been the son of Christopher3 Weidman (Martin2, Mathias1), but wasn’t the son of a member of President Buchanan’s direct family. Can we prove that he was (or wasn’t) the son of Christopher?
An issue recently came up in a Facebook group that I belong to for my Weidman surname. A fellow family researcher had found information that connected our Weidmans to President James Buchanan. I’ve never been terribly interested in making connections to famous persons in my family research. But this was new family information, so I decided to check it out.
So, Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night fun challenge was to create a color-coded ancestral birthplace chart. This chart has been popping up all over the genea-blogosphere in recent days and it seemed like a fun idea. I decided to play along, too. The majority of my ancestors were born and lived in Pennsylvania from their arrival in the […]
A healthy dose of skepticism can be a valuable tool in genealogy. It’s important to examine each record critically. It’s a lesson I’ve just had cause to remember, again.